Union Station Opens Cafe Crepe, Its First Casual, Sit-Down Eatery
French Toast Stuffed Crepe (Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah/LAist)
Apart from Traxx, which is of the fine dining variety, and its accompanying bar, there hasn't really been a chill place to have a meal while you wait for your train at L.A.'s main transit hub. Breakfast options are equally limited, leaving commuters with only grab-and-go choices, like Subway and Starbucks breakfast sandwiches or a pastry from T&Y. Yesterday, however, Café Crêpe officially opened to the public. It serves coffee, casual French cuisine and, perhaps most importantly, it opens at 7 a.m. and stays opens until 10 p.m.
Café Crêpe is based in Vancouver, Canada, opening their first location in 1999. Owners had their eye on the historic Art Deco station for a considerable time before their dream finally came to fruition this week. The shop is located in the Grand Waiting Room, near the information kiosk. It has a window where one can grab a coffee or order something to-go, but guests who snag a seat can have a full-service dining experience at one of the several tables, located both inside on the outdoor patio.
Menu items include crepes, baguette sandwiches, omelettes, soups and salads. Beverage options currently include tea, juice, soda, coffee and espresso drinks, but owners expect to be serving alcohol via a full bar come January.
Crepes come in both the savory and sweet variety. Some savory standouts are the West Coast, which contains smoked salmon, spinach, herb cream cheese and onion, and the Boeuf Fume, with smoked beef, swiss cheese, dijon mustard and mushrooms. They also offer several pizza crepes, filled with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and various combinations of popular pie toppings. On the sugary side, we'd suggest the stuffed french toast, which balances the sweetness of strawberries and maple syrup with brie and cinnamon. They also have several items featuring Nutella: crepes, hot chocolates, lattes and shakes. Most items range between $8 and $13, and many are quite filling, making it a little more budget-friendly than Traxx's $15 burgers or $24 Scottish salmon.
But what the opening of Café Crêpe really signifies is that Union Station is slowly becoming the kind of place where you might want to hang out a bit. In the last year and a half, upscale coffee spot Barista Society, grab-and-go Japanese eatery Oto Oto and salad shop Green Bowl 2 Go have opened. The Famina flipped into Trimana, and Metro Art has been hosting lots of fun happenings, like live music performances, art installations and film noir screenings. It's only fitting that a station so beautiful should have a reason to linger, other than to post architecture photos to Instagram.
Union Station is located at 800 N. Alameda St. downtown Los Angeles.